Tessa was 3 months old when she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain cancer called ATRT. She's been through 2 brain surgeries, 6 rounds of chemo, and 3 stem cell transplants. In early 2020, Tessa and her parents, Rachel and Rob, had to leave their home in Ottawa as well as their 2 year old daughter, Rylee and temporarily live in Toronto for 3 months. This was so that Tessa could receive her intensive chemo and stem cell transplants at Sick Kids Hospital.
Tessa is now 13 months old and is currently on maintenance chemo. She was almost in remission earlier this month, but they found out that the cancer is back with a vengeance, this time in her right axilla, under her right arm. She did have surgery to remove some of the cancer, but it was unfortunately not an easy surgery; they were unable to remove most of the cancer as it had spread throughout her surrounding muscles and lymph nodes.
Their only options for treatment now are radiation and a new oral chemo protocol. Probably the most devastating news right now is that this new treatment protocol is not curative - it's only going to buy Tessa more time. In Rachel's words, "I just can't believe it. I can't lose my baby!"
Please consider donating to this Go Fund Me that we've set up for them. Rachel and Rob aren't working right now, and haven't been able to work for the past year. They spend the majority of their time at the hospital with Tessa for her many appointments, tests, and procedures. When they're not at the hospital, they're at home with Tessa and their 3-year-old daughter, Rylee, just trying to soak up as much family time as they can, while it's still possible.
- Keri Hatfield
- Chelsea Weatherhead
- Kleida Muzlija
- Jessica Gagnon
Organizer and beneficiary